Heavily dependent on foreign trade, Norway has traditionally supported abolition of trade barriers. During the 1950s, direct control of imports was gradually abolished. Tariff rates on industrial raw materials and most manufactured goods are low; duties on finished textile products are levied at 15–25%.
A signatory of GATT and a member of EFTA, Norway has bilateral trade agreements with many countries in every part of the world. In 1973, Norway signed a Special Relations Agreement with the European Community (now the European Union), whereby both sides abolished all tariffs on industrial goods over the 1973–77 period. Other trade goods receiving gradual tariff reductions were fish, agricultural products, and wine.
Although Norwegian voters rejected EU membership in a 1994 referendum, Norway, as a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) maintains a free trade agreement with the European Union.